Monday, October 6, 2008

WORLDWIDE Church!

I just got this info. and wanted to share... what an inspiration! I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows us by name, for we ARE His, ALL of us! I am grateful for a living prophet in these the latter-days! I am so grateful for all the organizations of the church...

The sister who wrote the following letter was a member of the RS choir that sang for the General Relief Society Broadcast, September 27, 2008. (It was written the night before the broadcast. I had noticed the white blouses and wondered why...)
"Hello Family and Friends -
Well, I broke down and decided to send a quick email to let you know that the choir for the General Women's Broadcast tomorrow night was selected from my area and I am in it. I just had to share some things I have learned and felt during the last 7 weeks at rehearsals.
First, you will see that we are wearing white blouses. Some people have commented to me their surprise at the color choice (or lack thereof) but I have to tell you the story behind this. Sis. Beck, the General R.S. Pres., stopped into our practice one night as a surprise and she spoke for a few minutes. First, I cannot describe the feeling she brought with her, the power of the Holy Ghost as she testified to us of the Lord's hand in this conference and her humble pleading for help in her talk. She said that as she has traveled the world, she has felt such a powerful need to communicate to the women worldwide, regardless of race, economics, etc. that we are sisters and ALL members of the LORD'S church - together. She said that she felt inspired to request that we wear white because everywhere she has gone, the women always show up in a white clean shirt somehow. She said she didn't know how it was possible in some areas to have anything clean let alone white - but they always come somehow in white, even if it is a tee-shirt, cleaned and turned inside out so the writing on it doesn't show. So, she wanted them to see the choir and know that they could be part of it regardless of money or situation. They also asked us to not wear jewelry (or very minimal) so that women who are not sure where the next meal is coming from don't feel such an economic division between Utah and them.
They have worked to prepare us spiritually as much as musically. From the first night, they have said, the music is secondary. The testimony of Jesus Christ is primary. It is only about Him and the sisters out there. From the second we started rehearsing, the Spirit has been tangible and present. Every time, I leave feeling changed inside. At our first rehearsal, they said that there wouldn't be any new or original special songs. They told us that the conference is translated into the various languages, except the music. The music is always in English. There are many versions of Hymnals in the world, but they don't have every song in them. In fact, there are only about 15-20 songs (if I remember correctly) common among them all. So, to unify the sisters again, they chose 4 of the songs that are in every hymnal, so even if they don't understand our language, they will know the song and feel it is their hymns and their Church.
The theme of the music is rejoicing and hope in the Savior. In light of world events of the recent days, I can't tell you the power and peace I feel when I practice these songs. I invite you to listen closely to the words of the songs. They have come to me with force I have rarely felt in music ~ for example: "His kingdom cannot fail. He rules over earth and heaven." When it seems that everyday something else is failing, His kingdom cannot fail. Or, "I would learn the Healer's art", "Find in Thee my strength my beacon", or just the simple phrase "Lift up your hearts! Lift up your voice! Rejoice again I say rejoice." I have felt things during this preparation time that I never dreamed of feeling or learning. So, I felt the spirit say as I was practicing tonight " 'Lift up your voice' and send some thoughts to those you love." So, here are my thoughts and my love for whomever of you needs them.
My testimony has never been stronger of Jesus Christ and his love for us. My favorite name for him is "Savior." I feel it in every fiber of my being. He will not fail us if we cleave to Him. It is a marvelous time to be on the earth and great things are happening in this Church! It is his kingdom we are a part of. It is a privilege to bear His name and to try to be like Him. It is worth fighting for and holding our standards high. When we had our dress rehearsal in the Conference Center , and the organ started playing HUGE, and sound pouring out of the pipes over us, and singing with all the feeling of our souls, my heart felt like it would explode! I never considered how intimately the Savior watches over the preparations of conference, but I testify HE is in every detail, every plan, every element of it. It is HIS conference, HIS church, HIS world, HIS people, HIS Love, and I am so grateful for the chance to sing my testimony to you tomorrow night! I will have you in my mind and heart!

(Again, this was NOT written by me... but, by a sweet sister that was in the choir...)

13 comments:

Mechelle said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful letter. The sister who wrote the letter was blessed by the experience.


HE is in every detail.

I know this to be true.

Thanks for an uplifting post. Once again. You are the best. m

MERRIANNE said...

wow! Thank you so much for sharing that story with me {and everyone else who reads it} it brought tears to my eyes! :)

thank you again Shaila ♥

Jan said...

Awesome Shaila. I felt the Worldwide more this weekend than ever before. I heard the accents and loved them. I felt those spirits all over smiling. It was a wonderful weekend of unifying love. Wasn't it?

The B's said...

Rebekah and I talked about this last night. She sang in the choir in `02 and we were talking about one of my favorite things about conference - seeing the children as they saw themselves on the screen. From Rebekah's experiences, I knew they could see. Then she shared with me these same sentiments - sent to her from a (couple) sister who served with her in NY. Again, it so humbles me - the thought, prayer and preperation that goes into these meetings so we can become better people.
Kim

nikkicrumpet said...

What a beautiful post...thank you for sharing the letter!

McEwens said...

you know, when we were in the refugee camps in Africa.. it was dirty, and dusty.. and I tell you those saints had the CLEANEST whitest clothes!

Jenn said...

Thank you so much for sharing this letter. It is so touching.

I love that they thought of the jewelry.

We are truely worldwide and I love it!

kitchenditcher said...

The church is amazing. Our Savior is amazing. The knowledge that we as members of the restored gospel are privileged to know is amazing.

I stand all amazed.

Bren's Life said...

Thank you so much for sharing that. I loved reading it & feeling the Spirit in her words..
That is so neat to know...

Jodi said...

Thank you for posting that inspiring and touching letter! My husband was priveleged to sing in the Priesthood Choir a couple of years ago and I went to every rehersal (in the audience - the wives were invited) and I felt the same way. Even the rehersals were packed with the overflowing of the spirit. I loved attending just for that feeling. It was amazing! The night they sang, me and my friend had to sneak in our stake center to see if we could see them on the big screen that they were broadcasting it on!!!! lol

GREAT POST!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lisa Loo said...

Such beautiful,testimony strengthening, words! Thank you for sharing. The gospel is SOOOO true! It seemed like all involved in the Women's Broadcast and General Conference were very desirous for us to have the spirit of unity.

Frumpy Luv said...

Ah - thanks for this post - love background stories like this!

wonder woman said...

I'm new here - but I see you everywhere and decided to come visit you!

I thought it was interesting that the women were wearing white shirts....I thought it was a bunch of sister missionaries at first
(even though they don't have to wear white shirts) but this letter adds a whole new, beautiful light. And the hymns they sang were some of my favorites.....A big message I got from conference was "unity," and it would seem that the members of the gen. RS presidency want to help us feel that, too.